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My Reviews

Long Man: A novel by Amy Greene
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Beautiful
Interesting and moving

We just discussed this book last night at book club. Many of us were fortunate enough to meet and hear the author a few weeks ago. Her research into the TVA building of dams and bringing electricity to East Tennessee was evident and never boring. The plot line of a three year old child going missing days before the land was to be flooded by the TVA was a driving force, however the narrative also drove the novel. Our discussion wandered into extended family relationships and also the hardship on folks that are uprooted from their homes for the greater good, especially after having lived and worked the land for sometimes more than one or two generations.

Open Secrets: Stories by Alice Munro
 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Gloomy, Interesting
Beautiful writing

Such an interesting conversation about this book. We all liked it, but we also agreed that the discussion questions were difficult to answer. Should have had them in mind before reading. The writing is beautiful. We actually read several passages aloud at the meeting. We seemed to also be in agreement on our favorite story in the book. We think the author is amazing. I would definitely read more of her stories. She is very clever and is not afraid to approach subjects that might make one uncomfortable. Great book for discussion.

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Adventurous, Addictive
A trip to fantasyland

At lot of this book is set in a village in Canada that had fantasy-like images for almost every single member of our group. There are many levels of mystery to the story, and all were interesting and provided lively discussion topics. We vary in age, and those of us that are older were surprised that some members had never heard of the Dionne quints. So that opened up another avenue of discussion. Though we might not be readers of series for the most part, several of us were interested in following the main character in this book. There were many very interesting characters with well developed backgrounds that left you with a feeling of actually having spent some time with them. All in all, just a nice book.

 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Dramatic, Scary
Adrenaline

This was a fun book and a bit of a change from our usual selections. The descriptions of medical procedures made us realize how little thought we actually give to the anesthesiologist when having surgery. The book had some things driving the plot that I felt took it out of the realm of reality, but then one of the members who works at a medical teaching hospital very closely with doctors and residents reminded us of some actual events in our community and I had to admit that they would have seemed unrealistic in a book, but that they did actually occur. Many different things in the book prompted lively discussion, from the medical events to the doctor's personalities, drug use, and indiscretions. Was it the greatest book I ever read? Certainly not. But it was definitely a super fast read and a very nice change of pace.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Inspiring, Informative
Reality check

Our discussion of this book was one of the most lively and involved we\\\'ve had in a very long time. We read a variety of genres, and we all agreed this was a book we might not have read on our own but were so grateful that our club offers us the opportunity to get out of our reading comfort zone. Not everyone in our group has worked outside the home, but we all took something away from the author\\\'s insight and research. This morning there was an article on Katherine Zaleski\\\'s tweet on mothers in the workplace. Couldn\\\'t have been more timely! A great conversation starter for women of all generations.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Dark
If only people talked to one another...

This book provided the basis for lots of discussion about race and feelings of exclusion, but the most lively discussion was centered around family dynamics and the fact that parents and children do not "really" talk to each other. There were so many times you just wanted to shake these people and tell them to open up and share their feelings. And then, after talking about it a while, we knew what they did was what most families do. Sad, but true. I don't think I would have put it on any "book of the year" lists, but it was definitely worthwhile and a good book for a club to read.

BULL MOUNTAIN by Brian Panowich
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Dark, Graphic
A good read, but not a favorite

There were some that liked it and some that did not. We chose this book because of comparisons that had been made to the TV series "Justified." We found some of the characters to be interesting and had good discussion about the value of family and blood being thicker than water. The story had an interesting concept, but at times it seemed rather unrealistic -- maybe because we don't live in the same type of culture as the characters in the book. All in all, we were glad we read it and if we recommend it to others, we will have a few caveats. We felt that the author may have drawn from many stock perceptions of southern people that are not actually true. There were hints here and there that let you know what could be coming so that some things were not a total surprise. The layout was interesting and how he tied things together was pretty good. Some felt pushed to like certain characters that actually were not all that likable. If you are looking for something about current drug culture and people that deal in that trade, or if you are into violence that just pops up out of nowhere, you will probably enjoy the book.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Interesting
Liked it -- with some reservations

Had I been able to give it 2 1/2 stars, I would have. I did like some parts of it. We all appreciated the research that the author did, and it helped knowing this was based on fact. A lot of us wished her time with the Native Americans had comprised more of the story. During a year when we have a woman hoping to be in a race for the presidency, there was a lot to discuss about how things were then and how they are now.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Inspiring, Dramatic
More than a history lesson

Though you know from the beginning that this rowing team brought back gold from the 1936 Olympics, reading the blow by blow of that race will hold your attention and have you turning pages to find out what happens next as though it is happening as you read. 90 percent of our club pretty much said "loved it" when asked. And when you finish, you'll be excited to learn that a movie is being made. You can watch the actual race on youtube. The author did an amazing job writing this book. Not stuffy or stiff in the least. Very, very quick read because you have to turn the pages to find out what happens next.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Adventurous
Just plain fun

It was hard to find three words above to describe this book. The most fitting is definitely fun. It is a timeless mystery that is so easy to read. Our club enjoyed it and had a great discussion about the imagination it took to create such a mystery and the different qualities of the characters. Also a lot of discussion about how personal guilt can eat you up without being convicted of wrongdoing. When you need something light one month, choose a book like this one.

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